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Wine and Hot Dogs for the Fourth!

by David on July 2, 2009

What, you thought you’re stuck with beer??? Noooooooo… indeed ;-)

I know – it sounds pretty silly – but, why should you be deprived of a great American wine on this quintessentially-American holiday?

You know how we feel about pairing wine and food around here: have fun with it! That’s the most important thing, since most wines and foods taste pretty good together anyway. If you like the food and you like the wine, that’s all that really counts.

But hot dogs? Honestly, that’s a tricky one. But, who doesn’t like a challenge!!

Just for the heck of it, let’s be analytical and break down the components in your hot dog to figure out what sort of wine might work best.

1. The dog itself: That’s one very salty piece of meat. Salt is generally pretty wine friendly unless it’s extreme. You want red? I’d go with a low-tannin, moderate alcohol red and somehow fruitiness sounds really good too. Our AmerItal, a fruit-driven, light-bodied Zin (the all-American red!) or a Beaujolais style – especially a nouveau, should taste great.

2. Then there are the condiments: You have to slather on plenty of salty, vinegary mustard, or it isn’t a hot dog, right? Since the vinegar is sharp, you probably want a wine with a pretty good acid so it doesn’t get flattened out. I start thinking of my personal default wine – when in doubt I have a glass of sparkling wine. It’s reliably high in acid and seems to get along with almost any kind if food. A sparkling rose would have lots of fruit, too – good choice! Also fruity, high acid whites like our Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Gewurtztraminer should be yummy.

3. Now, do you put pickle relish on your dog?  Hmmm…sweet. Now, I’m thinking Riesling, Gewurtztraminer again – and it won’t hurt if they’re a little sweet like our Chenin Blanc . Sweet food can make dry wine taste sour. It kind of depends on how much relish you use.

4. For ketchup lovers, same advice – crisp acidity and a little sweet should put a smile on your face.

Of course, the Fourth is about independence, right? Create your own food and wine magic – and then tell us about it! Happy 4th!

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